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I fully realize that this was discussed in the other thread on picks for the Freestyle team, but this is TOO IMPORTANT a topic to be left as part of a thread. It has to be its own thread. Of all the matchups we've seen in the history of the US Olympic trials I can only think of a few that are this big. Let's start with the stats we all know:

J'Den Cox: 3x NCAA champion, 2x world champion, 2x world bronze, including 2016 Olympics.

Snyder: 3x NCAA champion, runner up frosh year, 3x world champion, including 2016 Olympics, 1x world silver, 1x bronze.

Tale of the tape:

Head to head: Cox and Snyder wrested in the 2015 NCAA championships and Snyder won 3-2. They also wrestled in the 2015 freestyle senior nationals at 97kg where Snyder also won, this time 4-3.

Snyder November 20, 1995 earned all his medals at 97kg and defeated Abdusalam Gadisov (2014 world chanp) in the world finals in 2015, defeated Khetag Gazyumov (2010 world champ, 8 time world medalist) in the 2016 Olympic finals, defeated Sadulaev in the 2017 world finals (he needs to introduction) but then lost to Sadulaev in the 2018 world finals and failed to making the finals in 2019 (he got bronze) falling to Sharif Sharifov in the semifinals. 

Cox born March 3, 1995 earned his gold medals at 92kg  in 2018 and 2019 but defeated much less accomplished wrestlers than Snyder to get there. None of his opponents were former world champs like Snyder's but many were multiple time world medalists including Karimi from Iran. Cox's most impressive freestyle wins in terms of the credentials of his opponents were his two wins (out of three tries) in the final series of the 2017 world team trials versus future 86kg world champ David Taylor at 86kg and his two wins (out of three tries, Taylor won the worlds at 86kg the following year) and his two wins (in three times) against future world champ Kyle Dake at 86kg  in the 2016 Olympic trials. Notable: Cox wrestled freestyle 97kg in both the 2014 and 2015 US senior freestyle nationals before dropping to 86kg for the 2016 Olympic year. He stayed at 86kg for 2016 and 2017 earning bronze medals in both the Olympics and the 2017 world championships before moving up to 92kg for 2018. 

If one looks at the data, it points to Snyder. But Cox is a tremendous athlete, capable of much more in my view than Snyder. Who is it going to be ?

 

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1 hour ago, wrestlingnerd said:

The trend is your friend. Cox is on the up, Snyder in reverse. Cox in two. 

The trend is your friend - or does Cox try to catch a falling knife?

Yes, Snyder's World medals reversed in color in 2018 and again in 2019 but I think Kyle can still perform at his peak level and even improve since his 2019 bronze. 

Have no idea how this will go in 2021 but I do agree that Cox is on the up and still improving. Two excellent wrestlers and two classy guys. I will be happy for whoever wins the spot. Epic match-up.

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38 minutes ago, 2td3nf said:

The trend is your friend - or does Cox try to catch a falling knife?

There's the possibility of a double bottom (18 and 19), a decidedly bullish sign, but I'm not betting on it.

Separately (not directed at you), Cox's early world experience doesn't provide proper context. I think he cut too much and his performance suffered as a result (still had a great run, obviously). Remember he was a heavyweight prospect coming out of HS and made a decision to cut to 86 kg late. 86 kg is far from his optimal weight. His quickness, balance, and footwork is much more of an advantage against guys of Snyder's size than against guys like Dake and DT. This may sound sacrilegious to some, but I think DT at 86 kg is a significantly tougher opponent than Snyder at 97 kg, which influenced Cox's decision to go up.

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There's the possibility of a double bottom (18 and 19), a decidedly bullish sign, but I'm not betting on it.
Separately (not directed at you), Cox's early world experience doesn't provide proper context. I think he cut too much and his performance suffered as a result (still had a great run, obviously). Remember he was a heavyweight prospect coming out of HS and made a decision to cut to 86 kg late. 86 kg is far from his optimal weight. His quickness, balance, and footwork is much more of an advantage against guys of Snyder's size than against guys like Dake and DT. This may sound sacrilegious to some, but I think DT at 86 kg is a significantly tougher opponent than Snyder at 97 kg, which influenced Cox's decision to go up.
There is no way Cox can make 86 kg with the same day weigh ins. So your hypothesis about going up to avoid Taylor is absurd.

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5 minutes ago, cjc007 said:

There is no way Cox can make 86 kg with the same day weigh ins. So your hypothesis about going up to avoid Taylor is absurd.
 

I don't think the drama about which weight he would go was purely a marketing ploy. Whether he can perform against a beefed up DT is another matter. I don't think he was avoiding DT (which you could call cowardly) as much as picking the more certain path in his eyes (which is smart). 

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8 minutes ago, wrestlingnerd said:

 

My original post was right. Just forgot about Cadets. So we were both sorta right and wrong

https://www.flowrestling.org/video/5398430-220-lbs-rr1-kyle-snyder-maryland-vs-jden-cox-missouri

Snyder Beats Cox Junior Greco

https://www.flowrestling.org/video/5399583-220-jf-r5-jden-cox-mo-vs-kyle-snyder-md

Cox Beats Snyder Junior Free Semis

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Does anyone think Cox or Snyder would be our heavyweight rep if they went up?

I just can’t picture either losing to Gwiz or Parris. Maybe Gable could beat them in a close match? 
  
Not that I think they would medal if they did make the team, but just interesting to consider. 

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4 minutes ago, Housebuye said:

Does anyone think Cox or Snyder would be our heavyweight rep if they went up?

I just can’t picture either losing to Gwiz or Parris. Maybe Gable could beat them in a close match? 
  
Not that I think they would medal if they did make the team, but just interesting to consider. 

I think it'd make more sense for Snyder since he wrestled HWT and I would assume is bigger than Cox, but yeah.

Not that it matters but that would also make sense for a hypothetical NLWC dual team - put Nickal at 97, Snyder at 125.

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I think it'd make more sense for Snyder since he wrestled HWT and I would assume is bigger than Cox, but yeah.
Not that it matters but that would also make sense for a hypothetical NLWC dual team - put Nickal at 97, Snyder at 125.
Yeah, Nickal at 97. That's it.

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I’d easily pay triple for the OTT tickets I’ve already purchased to watch these matches, along with the other epic / legendary battles that will take place, live and in person.  Really bummed that it likely won’t matter.   Wonder when they are going to call it and start refunding tix.  
 

Thanks for the original write up in this thread.  I ask my self who I would put money on with even odds.  I honestly don’t know.  Cox seems to have a quick / slick factor.  Snyder has the ox / bull factor.

Edited by nom

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11 hours ago, hammerlockthree said:

My original post was right. Just forgot about Cadets. So we were both sorta right and wrong

https://www.flowrestling.org/video/5398430-220-lbs-rr1-kyle-snyder-maryland-vs-jden-cox-missouri

Snyder Beats Cox Junior Greco

https://www.flowrestling.org/video/5399583-220-jf-r5-jden-cox-mo-vs-kyle-snyder-md

Cox Beats Snyder Junior Free Semis

To sum up, they were 2-2 against each other in high school. Snyder won freestyle and Cox won greco as cadets, then they switched in juniors with Cox winning freestyle and Snyder winning greco.

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2 hours ago, cjc007 said:

Yeah, Nickal at 97. That's it.

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Nickal has already proven to be MUCH better than Moore, Macchiavello, and Zillmer, the 3, 4, and 5 domestically ranked 97kg guys.

If Snyder went 125 for hypothetical, then NLWC has no better option at 97 than Nickal.

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The only way I think Snyder can score on Cox is snap go-behinds, and I just don’t see him being able to keep his hands on Cox long enough or J’Den getting trapped under him. I don’t think the ankle pick will work, but he definitely has the best professor in the world now so maybe.

I think Cox can score on a variety of misdirections and reattacks against Snyder and would favor him in scrambles, especially sweaty ones. Him working often off of his knees and clearing ties significantly reduces Snyder’s ability to pull his head down and fatigue him.

Both tremendously good at sticking to game plans. Neither a threat to put up a lot of points from par terre (although both are getting better). Neither likely to break position.

I favor J’Den Cox


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I've had the pleasure of spending a little bit of time with both of these men and think the world of both of them. I wish they could both have a shot at Olympic gold this year. 

While my heart can't choose between them, with a gun to my head I'd bet on Cox. My rationale is that he'll be strong enough to not be overpowered by Snyder, and that he will have a speed, sweat, and flexibility advantage that will help him win. 

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I have seen Cox get the better of Snyder in practice.  I also think that the current version of Cox (could be injured) does not have the offense to win 2/3.  Definitely could see these guys splitting matches but I like Kyle’s tenacity and passion for scoring over three matches as opposed to Cox’s positioning and short bursts. 
 

No matter what, fans win on this one. 

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